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Mr. Robert J. Fawcett (London, UK)
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The Complete Guide to Playing Blues Guitar Book Three: Beyond Pentatonics (Play Blues Guitar 3)
The Complete Guide to Playing Blues Guitar Book Three: Beyond Pentatonics (Play Blues Guitar 3)
Price: £5.65

5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect game-changer for pentatonic players, 20 May 2014
It often felt to me that the next steps beyond simple blues scales were not clearly marked. Of course there are lots of ways into basic blues: you can get quite a way by just learning the basic scale positions and then scurrying around them enthusiastically in the right key. Once you know those blues scales confidently, there any number of people in polo necks beckoning you towards the labyrinth of jazz, but a painful lack of clear systematic paths to get a bit more clever with blues whilst keeping it gritty. This book fills that need superbly, maybe uniquely, and it is not simply applicable to straight blues: you'll thrive using this approach whilst playing music in the vein of the Rolling Stones or AC/DC - you can probably play every one of the example phrases over ' Brown Sugar ' or ' Gone Shootin' ', each time learning something and sounding great.


The Sun Set: Recorded at Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee.
The Sun Set: Recorded at Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee.
Offered by Weeping Angel Records
Price: £10.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic vibe, 28 Feb. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The atmosphere in this recording is fantastic and sets off some great songs and performances perfectly.

My only regret is that I will never hear Led Zeppelin cover 'Banker's Blues'...

...at least not with John Bonham.


Antex GasCat 75 Gas Powered Soldering Iron KIT XG075KT
Antex GasCat 75 Gas Powered Soldering Iron KIT XG075KT
Offered by Antex
Price: £64.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool, superb service from Antex, 9 Jan. 2014
I've used my 75 for years now and it is without doubt the best iron I've owned. Above all it is functional, consistent and reliable. Like most butane irons it heats up very quickly indeed compared to an electrical iron. I've found that the tips last very well, and if after long use they fail to light can often be revived by gentle abrasion of the delicate internal surface - I guess this cleans the catalyst. I suspect it's the catalyst which makes the tips a little costly - catalyst materials, such as platinum, tend not to be cheap! Incidentally, this is a good reason to ensure you use very pure well filtered gas: it will be much less prone to fouling the catalyst with deposits.

I recently contacted Antex with some questions and was deeply impressed by their responsiveness and personal service: it is clearly a UK company which is not of inhuman size and is glad to listen to users of their products and eager to help.


I Should Know That: Great Britain: Everything You (and the Prime Minister) Really Should Know About GB
I Should Know That: Great Britain: Everything You (and the Prime Minister) Really Should Know About GB
Price: £0.99

2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing..., 5 Jan. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I hoped to find this entertainingly educational but experienced it as a fairly dry listing of clusters of facts. It is punctuated by somewhat random quotes illustrating the ignorance of people in public life, which are amusing which but seemed to me like a parallel thread to the listing of facts rather than an effective way of making the main text more engaging. Perhaps if each section had begun with a vignette explaining the background and reaction related to a politician's foot-in-mouth demonstration of ignorance, followed by an engaging narrative of 'Here's What They Should Have Known' then the overall text might have felt like less of a compendium of lists and more of a good read.


D'Addario EXL150H XL Nickel Wound High Strung/Nashville Tuning  (.010-.026) Electric Guitar Strings
D'Addario EXL150H XL Nickel Wound High Strung/Nashville Tuning (.010-.026) Electric Guitar Strings
Price: £4.25

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for an unused spare guitar, 26 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
These strings add a whole new option if you have a little-used spare electric guitar. They comprise just the high strings from a 12 string set: the high E and B are like any usual 6 string set, but the low E, A, D and G all tune an octave higher. In itself it's a lovely jangly chord sound, especially with single-coil pickups. Playing chords against a second regular-tuned guitar, the sound is gorgeous - the two guitars kind of adding up to a 12 string guitar with four hands playing it. That's not just a good option for performance but also for lush overdubs.
I've bought effect pedals that were less inspiring or entertaining than a set of these strings!


No Title Available

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 26 Dec. 2013
Parametric EQs can be fantastically useful. Guitarists tend to use graphic eqs because their function is so obvious, but a parametric will typically sound more organic and characterful and after a little experience becomes much faster to use effectively than a graphic.
A typical pedal graphic eq offers a few fixed choices of broad frequency bands to alter. A parametric offers one or several precisely selectable frequency bands and allows choice as to how broadly the sound is affected around the chosen frequency.
For example, if the frequency you need to adjust is centred near 600Hz, a pedal graphic will actually only offer you 400Hz and 800Hz faders. With a parametric you can scan the frequency knob until the key frequency jumps out at you (say 620Hz) then not only boost or cut but choose whether to do so tightly around just that frequency (say to stop feedback without damaging overall tone) or do so broadly (to change the character of the sound in a natural-seeming way). An in-between setting will often sound less natural but more colourful (perhaps a bit honky or funky).
Thus, a parametric eq can be a great thing. But this Artec has some shortcomings.
Firstly, this unit offers only one frequency band: this can still be very useful but is still a limitation.
Secondly, this is a noisy circuit. I get the impression that it isn't easy or cheap to build a quiet parametric circuit, and this one certainly adds more noise than most cheap graphics would.
Finally - and the only thing I absolutely can't live with - two of the pots (rotary controls) just have tiny spindles instead of knobs and I think that the choice of which to implement in this way is really poor. The tiny Q (bandwidth) control is kind of reasonable - or would be if it at least had a clear marker to show its position such as a white dot. The tiny 'gain' control, though, is a nightmare. This controls the boost/cut of your chosen frequency and this needs to be very a very visible value which is conveniently controllable. The tiny spindle for this is a disaster. This could so easily have been the 'level' control instead which it is trivial to adjust by ear rather than needing to read.
I currently have three parametric pedals that I use constantly with electric guitar: an old Aria AEQ-1 which is no better than the Artec save for four proper full-size knobs, an old Boss PQ-4 which is not truly parametric but offers two sweepable mid frequencies plus high and low. And finally an Empress ParaEQ which has three bands and which compromises only in that the Q (bandwidth) is controlled by 3 position switch rather than continuously adjustable. The Empress is expensive, but proves how quiet, natural and uniquely useful a parametric can be. I do have an excellent vintage pedal graphic, but that now only tends to find use as a boost rather than to set my tone.
If only the Artec controls were less infuriating I'd suggest the unit as a possible cheap experiment to check out the whole idea of parametric eq, but as it is it may just turn you against a really good concept by simply being too awkward to get the best out of.


Zoom MS-100BT Multi-Stomp Guitar Effects Pedal
Zoom MS-100BT Multi-Stomp Guitar Effects Pedal
Offered by DJ and Studio
Price: £99.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Zoom Really Have Come a Long Way, 23 Dec. 2013
I was thrilled and excited some years ago when my work colleagues very kindly bought me a Zoom 505 multi-effect. Sadly I came to regard it as a truly rotten sounding bit of kit. As a result it was at least 10 years before I ever considered buying the brand again: and was suspicious even now. But this thing sounds great!

I feel that big digital floor units are painfully uncool looking unless you can play like John McLaughlin or are in a Rush tribute band. This regular-size pedal gives you a lot of the flexibility of the larger digital kit without the cringe factor. It's about as easy to use as such a compact multi-function unit could be, though not so easy that you won't have to look over the instructions. The build quality seems generally very robust, although the battery cover feels disappointingly flimsy.

I have a bunch of vintage analogue pedals I'm really happy with. This pedal will not replace them, but rather will stand in for every pedal I'll never get around to buying. It also adds amplifier emulation with line level outputs to my rig: a useful addition, plus reverb for when real amps lack it, and a good tuner. In fact I'm getting rid of a pedal tuner and a modern chorus box because this unit makes them redundant.

Something to note in particular is that I'm delighted I choose this over the 'MS-50' model:

1. They share the same inbuilt amp models, but all my favourites are those I suspect are only available as additions to this unit through its associated Zoom iPhone / iPad app, such as tones derived from HiWatt, Sound City and Orange. It's dumb that there is no Android or PC app, but at least anything you add seems to be there permanently so any pal with an iPhone could add things for you (free app, pedals currently 0.69 and amps 1.49). Note that this is a superb and fully featured unit whether or not you ever use the Bluetooth connectivity.

2. Stereo input is an asset should you want to chain a stereo-output pedal or if, as in my case, you also own keyboards or electronic drums.

3. Bass guitar effects are also available. I have a bass and do play it sometimes!

4. The iPad/iPhone downloadable pedal and amp emulations available to the MS-100 add a great deal over the MS-50, with an existing range to choose from and a new effect currently added every fortnight. Incidentally, there is great documentation of all this range on the Zoom site: PDF manuals and lists of every effect and parameter.

These pedals let you chain up to six virtual effects at once. In one mode the footswitch toggles bypass of whichever effect is currently onscreen. In another mode the footswitch toggles between each of several complete effect chains - you can choose to toggle through two or twenty as you see fit. Of course you could just set up one-pedal chains (and maybe an empty chain): that way you could toggle in turn between several different individual pedals (and bypass).

You can save 50 named presets each of which can include from one to six effects.

A sorry omission is that you can only save one 'set' of different effect chains to toggle between in sequence. It's great to be able to set up all the sounds used in a single song and then toggle between them with the footswitch, but as the Zoom is currently implemented you then need to manually set up a new toggle set of sounds for the next song. I imagine a firmware update could redress this. If Zoom do so I'll update this review!

Incidentally, holding down the footswitch can optionally trigger the tuner or a tap-tempo function.

Above all, the sounds are really good. I find the reverbs a little cold, but the chorus effects are great, the auto-wah and pitch effects track impressively, and the 808 Tube Screamer emulation I added via Bluetooth is an uncanny mimicry of my 30 year old TS808. Not as good as the real thing, but far from shoddy. Some of the amp emulations are prone to a high whining overtone, but generally they are pleasing and very usable.


ABS Shallow Rack Case 2U
ABS Shallow Rack Case 2U
Offered by Terralec Ltd
Price: £53.90

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I've used, 1 Dec. 2013
This review is from: ABS Shallow Rack Case 2U
There are loads of niggling reasons why cases can bug me. These ones don't!
These cases have moulded 'skids' which stop the metal fittings scratching table tops.
The have proper hinged handles, not just moulded ones, and a good finish overall.
They stack, but do so without having a big stupid X moulded on top: thus there is a big flat area which means you can put regular items on top without them falling over. No, I don't mean pints of beer.
The end caps have zipped netting lining them, so you can put any loose widgets in there safely.
I bought one more of these than I needed and Terralec raised no problems with returning it.
Aside from being delivered in a rather grubby cardboard box packed with bubble wrap that appeared as grey and tatty as bubble wrap ever could, I was as delighted as it is sane to be by such a functional item!


No Title Available

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Zoom have come a long way, 29 Aug. 2013
I was thrilled and excited some years ago when my work colleagues very kindly bought me a Zoom 505 multi-effect. Sadly I came to regard it as a truly rotten sounding bit of kit. As a result it was at least 10 years before I ever considered buying the brand again: and was suspicious even now. But this thing sounds great!

I feel that big digital floor units are painfully uncool looking unless you can play like John McLaughlin or are in a Rush tribute band. This regular-size pedal gives you a lot of the flexibility of the larger digital kit without the cringe factor. It's about as easy to use as such a compact multi-function unit could be, though not so easy that you won't have to look over the instructions. The build quality seems generally very robust, although the battery cover feels disappointingly flimsy.

I have a bunch of vintage analogue pedals I'm really happy with. This pedal will not replace them, but rather will stand in for every pedal I'll never get around to buying. It also adds amplifier emulation with line level outputs to my rig: a useful addition, plus reverb for when real amps lack it, and a good tuner. In fact I'm getting rid of a pedal tuner and a modern chorus box because this unit makes them redundant.

I'm delighted I choose this over the 'MS-50' model:

1. They share the same inbuilt amp models, but all my favourites are those I suspect are only available as additions to this unit through its associated Zoom iPhone / iPad app, such as tones derived from HiWatt, Sound City and Orange. It's dumb that there is no Android or PC app, but at least anything you add seems to be there permanently so any pal with an iPhone could add things for you (free app, pedals currently 0.69 and amps 1.49). Note that this is a superb and fully featured unit whether or not you ever use the Bluetooth connectivity.

2. Stereo input is an asset should you want to chain a stereo-output pedal or if, as in my case, you also own keyboards or electronic drums.

3. Bass guitar effects are also available. I have a bass and do play it sometimes!

4. There are currently simply a lot more pedal emulations included in the MS-100 than in the MS-50, although check the Zoom website as updates to the MS-50 (uploadable via USB connection) seem to promise a big upgrade soon. Incidentally, there is great documentation of all this range on the Zoom site: PSD manuals and lists of every effect and parameter.

These pedals let you chain up to six virtual effects at once. In one mode the footswitch toggles bypass of whichever effect is currently onscreen. In another mode the footswitch toggles between each of several complete effect chains - you can choose to toggle through two or twenty as you see fit. Of course you could just set up one-pedal chains (and maybe an empty chain): that way you could toggle in turn between several different individual pedals (and bypass).

You can save 50 named presets each of which can include from one to six effects.

A sorry omission is that you can only save one 'set' of different effect chains to toggle between in sequence. It's great to be able to set up all the sounds used in a single song and then toggle between them with the footswitch, but as the Zoom is currently implemented you then need to manually set up a new toggle set of sounds for the next song. I imagine a firmware update could redress this. If Zoom do so I'll update this review!

Incidentally, holding down the footswitch can optionally trigger the tuner or a tap-tempo function.

Above all, the sounds are really good. I find the reverbs a little cold, but the chorus effects are great, the auto-wah and pitch effects track impressively, and the 808 Tube Screamer emulation I added via Bluetooth is an uncanny mimicry of my 30 year old TS808. Not as good as the real thing, but far from shoddy. Some of the amp emulations are prone to a high whining overtone, but generally they are pleasing and very usable.

UPDATE: Sept 2013 - new MS-100 firmware has been released, v1.3, though it is bug-fix only (and I never experienced any of these bugs myself):
"We have released version 1.30 with the following bug fixes.
1. Unable to use Bass effects downloaded from StompShare.
2.When turning power on, effects disappear in rare cases.
3.MS-100BT fails to update in rare cases."

You might like to consider the new firmare update now released for the MS-50 which adds agreat deal:
"We have released version 2.01 with the following bug fixes and new functions.
1. 45 types of new effects have been added.
2. The unit could not be connected using certain USB chipsets.
3. Some effects were erased when the power was turned on.
4. Updating using certain computers did not work."


24cm Judge Non-stick Crépe Pan
24cm Judge Non-stick Crépe Pan

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Beautifully finished, great non-stick, 11 April 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: 24cm Judge Non-stick Crépe Pan
Most pans which serve this purpose either looked really cheap and flimsy or were crazy expensive.

It's amazing that this pan is very much at the bottom of the price scale, because its design is very pleasing, it feels like an item of quality and it functions perfectly. Thus far I've used it with great success to make omlettes and pancakes. I hope it will also serve for use making flatbreads, although that does involve rather higher temperatures. At any rate, if you want a non-stick pan to make crepes/pancakes then this one is *flipping* fantastic...


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